We have been asked many times about enabling personal users to host access to their own federated cloud of public/private data and in the past we have given access to earlier versions of our software to do just this, and today we bring that up to date for personal users with our latest File Fabric release that can be used for self hosting.
Why would you want to do this? There are a number of reasons:
- You can host your own private cloud using the built-in FTP storage, your own FTP storage or using WebDav, SFTP or use an open source private cloud such as OpenStack Swift providing a greater send of privacy and security. You can also use the solution as an entry point into Public cloud storage, such as Amazon S3, Azure blob storage and Google Storage for example.
- Federate access to all private and public cloud storage, making security, access and management easier.
- The service comes with a built in encryption service in which data can be encrypted prior to being stored on remote public clouds so it can act as a non-intrusive security gateway for your data.
- It offers a secure abstraction for sharing links and password protected files, over and above what a cloud storage service provides.
- It provides a WebDav abstraction layer for data access in which you can access data from any of the Clouds mapped to your account over WebDav – great for working with WebDav enabled Apps that do not support your Cloud Data service.
- It can be used to backup data from one cloud to another or move and copy between different cloud services.
- A lot more ! See the Wiki for more details.
Why are we offering the ability to host your own personal federated cloud service ? As a company Storage Made Easy concentrates on business and enterprise use of our products rather than personal consumer use.
We do however recognise that consumers appreciate and would like to use the service, the 350,000+ users on our hosted service let us know that.
To that end we made the decision to scale back the hosting of our own cloud service for personal users over time and enable personal users to simply host their own, for free. Enabling access to host the Personal Cloud service is the first step on this journey.
The Personal Cloud Appliance is pre-packaged software Appliance that encompasses the SME Personal hosted service that you use online except it is supplied to work with a single user account.
The Appliance itself uses CentOS Linux as its base Operating System and is configured to be used with any hypervisor that works, this includes Virtual Box, VMware, Hyper-V, XEN, and KVM, as well as OpenStack Compute.
This short overview will step you through how you can get up and running with hosting the SME personal cloud server using virtual box. The tutorial steps are done using a Mac but the steps are similar for Windows PC’s.
The first step is to register to access the download. This simply involves entering your email address at which the download link will be delivered.
Once downloaded the Appliance is provided as an OVA image. It is the OVA image we will be using with Virtual Box.
Once the Appliance is downloaded simply right click and choose to open the OVA with Virtual Box.
The default settings are the minimum requirement but feel free to change them to suit your requirements.
The initial state of the Appliance is powered off.
With regards to networking, for this tutorial I chose to use the “bridged” network setting in the Virtual Box network settings but again you can choose this to suit your environment.
Now you can simply boot up the SME software Appliance and once it has booted you will reach the following screen:
You can simply head over to a web browser on your machine and type in http://<the IP address displayed>.
This will take you to the login screen where you can enter the username and password you were provided in the email registration. Once logged in you will be taken to the home screen.
The first thing to do once logged in is to click on the hamburger menu and and choose the ‘My Account Settings’ option.
Here you can first change your username
and then your password
The Appliance is configured to work with the default CentOS Vsftpd service which is configured as local storage so it is available to work with files out of the box.
The Dashboard, available from the top of the page, shows the configured providers and enables you to add an additional 19 other providers.
This ends the tutorial for configuring and setting up the Storage Made Easy Personal Cloud Appliance. The Appliance can be downloaded from here.
If you are a company or ISP and would like to trial the SME Enterprise Cloud Appliance, then please click here.